Amanda Blystone answers:
Children do not always split their time 50/50 between homes during and after divorce. Many factors play into whether a 50/50 arrangement is appropriate, some of which would be distance between the parents’ homes, ages of the children, work schedules of the parents, schools the children attend, the children’s activities, and so much more. I would say there are nearly as many types of living arrangements as there are families that we work with. Some families prefer a week-on/week-off arrangement, exchanging the kids once per week on the same day each week.
Others are willing to do more transitions between homes, in an effort to break up the time a bit more. Those families may use what we call a 2/2/3 schedule, where one parent always has the children Monday and Tuesday, the other always has the children on Wednesday and Thursday, and they alternate Friday through Sunday. Some families find it is better for the kids to be more often in one house than the other. In these cases, parents typically will equally share weekends, either by alternating or saying one parent has 2 weekends per month.
Midweek nights are then shared in a way that works for the family, sometimes involving overnights, sometimes not. Many people get stuck on the schedule set forth in the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines and think they must follow that schedule, which isn’t true at all. The Guidelines and our courts encourage families to be creative and find schedules that work for their particular family.
Amanda Blystone is a Domestic Relations Mediator and Certified Family Law Specialist (as certified by the Family Law Certification Board) at Broyles Kight & Ricafort, P.C. Amanda has practiced family law almost exclusively since her admission to the Indiana Bar in 2001, and has litigated in counties throughout the State of Indiana. www.bkrfamilylaw.com